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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

Iraq Could Face Civil War by End of Next Year; Annan Calls Iraq War 'Illegal'; Clean-up Under Way on Gulf Coast

Aired September 16, 2004 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LOU DOBBS, HOST: Tonight: a shocking and grim assessment of Iraq's future. Iraq could face civil war by the end of next year. We'll have a report.
Another incredible outburst by Kofi Annan. The U.N. secretary general says the Iraq war was illegal.

A massive clean-up tonight in the wake of Hurricane Ivan after it pummels the U.S. gulf coast. Tornadoes killed at least seven people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to live in paradise, this is the price you pay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Selling America's future, corporate America not only shipping American jobs overseas, they're also exporting technical knowledge vital to this country's future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First of all, we lose manufacturing. Then we lose the design.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Tonight the secretary-treasury of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, is my guest.

And a documentary, "American Jobs." Our technology workers aren't only losing their jobs to cheap overseas labor markets, they're also being forced to train their replacements.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Thursday, September 16. Here now, for an hour of news, debate and opinion, is Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening. Tonight, troubling questions about the direction of U.S. policy in Iraq after a grim new assessment of Iraq's future. A National Intelligence Estimate by this country's intelligence agencies says at worst, Iraq could plunge into a civil war by the end of next year. Officials completed that estimate in July. Since then, the violence and the number of American casualties has escalated sharply. Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fact that things have gone from bad to worse in Iraq should not come as a surprise to President Bush. Sources confirm to CNN that a highly pessimistic National Intelligence Estimate was sent to the White House back in July. The classified warning predicted the best case for Iraq, tenuous stability, the worst case, civil war.

Despite the gloomy secret forecast, President Bush continues to argue publicly the U.S. is making good progress in Iraq.

GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll get them on the path to stability and democracy as quickly as possible. And then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned.

MCINTYRE: But six weeks after President Bush got the bleak prediction, it seems to be coming true. The Pentagon now admits the insurgency in Iraq is growing in both size and sophistication, and as a result, the number of U.S. war dead, now over 1,025, is climbing at a faster rate than at any time since major combat.

In visits to troops at U.S. bases this week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld found himself answering questions about why Iraq seems to be taking a turn for the worse.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: It's a tough business, and as you know from reading the papers and seeing the television, it's a dangerous business. And a great many of you know that from being there personally.

MCINTYRE: Sources say the intelligence report raises serious questions about Iraq's ability to achieve political solutions in the next year or two, noting the country's limited experience with representative government and history of violence.

FRANCIS FUKUYAMA, MILITARY HISTORIAN: I think that anybody that thinks that you can hold elections in the Sunni triangle by the end of January is really smoking something.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE: Today, a senior defense official called the negative assessment "just one view," but Lou, it is a view that is increasingly being shared by experts in and out of the Pentagon who worry that the U.S. is getting into a no-win situation, where the harder it hits the insurgents, the stronger they become -- Lou.

DOBBS: And Jamie, is the Pentagon discussing and publicly releasing its views about changing strategy?

MCINTYRE: Well, it's only hinted a little bit publicly at the strategy, although they have acknowledged, A, that things are getting worse, and two, that there has to be something done to bring these areas under control where the insurgents are holding sway. All they'll say is that there is a plan for the Iraqi government to take care of it, backed up by the United States, and that it will be taken care of, they say, before the elections in January. But lots of experts express doubt that that's really possible.

DOBBS: Jamie McIntyre, senior Pentagon correspondent, thank you.

The number of American troops killed in Iraq has risen sharply since the completion of that National Intelligence Estimate in July. There were 54 American deaths in Iraq in July, 67 American deaths in the month of August. So far in September, 47 American troops have been killed in Iraq. And we are, of course, only halfway through this month.

Senator John Kerry today launched a blistering attack against President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. In one of the sharpest attacks yet, Senator Kerry accused President Bush of "living in a fantasy world of spin" and not leveling with the American people on Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The mess in Iraq, by the judgment of many, has set us back in terms of the war on terror. The simple fact is that when it comes to the war on terror, this administration has taken its eye off the ball.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: For his part, President Bush today said freedom is on the march in Iraq, but President Bush focused mainly on domestic issues today. The president accused Senator Kerry of planning to increase the taxes of every American.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: When you hear him say tax the rich, be careful. The rich hire lawyers and accountants for a reason, because they don't want to pay. And you get stuck with the tab. But we're not going to let him stick you with the tab.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: In Iraq today, a bold kidnapping of two Americans and a British man near the heavily guarded Green Zone in Baghdad. Ten gunmen kidnapped the three men from their home in an upscale neighborhood at dawn. All three Westerners work for a construction firm. There was no guard outside the house at the time of the kidnapping. A guard should have been on duty, but he did not show up for work.

Outrage and anger today after an astonishing statement about Iraq by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Annan said the United States- led invasion of Iraq was illegal. U.S. allies Britain and Australia immediately rejected Annan's assertion. President Bush said he has no regrets about ordering the invasion. Kitty Pilgrim reports. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The secretary general abruptly walked away from a press conference today without addressing the issue. His spokesman did little to clear up the issue earlier, saying it was nothing new. But that's not how the world took it.

JOHN DANFORTH, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: We don't agree with the secretary general on this point.

PILGRIM: Prime Minister Tony Blair's government also came out saying they strongly disagreed with the U.N. secretary general. Australian prime minister John Howard slammed the U.N., saying it was, quote, "paralyzed," and the invasion of Iraq was entirely valid.

JOHN HOWARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: I'm a little surprised that eighteen months or more after the event, this issue is being raised.

PILGRIM: For Howard, the timing couldn't be worse. He faces election in about three weeks, and his opponent is running on a campaign pledge to bring Australian troops home.

U.S. experts say Annan's remarks are, quote, "unhelpful" to U.S. elections, and at this time, make no sense.

AMB. EDWARD WALKER, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: I don't understand quite what he means by legal. The Security Council has authorized the current situation. They have supported the government of Allawi, and they have been in favor of the elections in January.

PILGRIM: Kofi Annan also said there could not be credible elections in Iraq in the current security climate, but it's up to the U.N. to help run the elections.

PROF. ABRAHAM SOFAER, HOOVER INSTITUTION: There is a lot of pressure on the secretary general and the U.N. as an organization right now to perform its role, especially in connection with the elections. And this could be a signal from him that he simply can't do it, and he is shifting the blame once again to the U.S. and its allies.

PILGRIM: The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations responded there would be no delay in Iraqi elections.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Now, the Security Council passed a resolution last spring authorizing the U.N. protection force for the Iraqi elections. But so far, few countries have officially agreed to provide forces to that unit -- Lou.

DOBBS: Kofi Annan, with this bizarre statement today -- the interference that was being run over the course of the past two years, in point of fact, by the Germans and the French and now the French in Iran, the Chinese in the Sudan -- is, in fact, the United Nations paralyzed?

PILGRIM: Well, it certainly doesn't seem to be able to move forward on certain issues. In Iraq, it seems like revisionist policy to go back to this issue in the U.N. today. It seems to have some trouble moving forward on many issues.

DOBBS: Thank you very much, Kitty Pilgrim.

That brings us to the subject of tonight's poll. The question, Do you believe Kofi Annan's comments on the war in Iraq are, as were suggested, politically motivated? Yes or no. Cast you vote at cnn.com/lou. We'll have the results for you later here in the broadcast.

Tonight the United States faces a much tougher challenge in Iraq than anyone in the Bush administration has heretofore publicly admitted. As we report tonight, the government's own intelligence agencies say there could even be a civil war in Iraq by the end of next year. Joining me now is General David Grange.

General, with this assessment by the intelligence community, it really puts us in a very difficult spot. And one has to wonder what the impact will be on our policy going forward. Your best assessment?

BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE, U.S. ARMY (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, best assessment, Lou, is that I think for about the next six months, it's going to be tenuous, it's going to be violent. People are going die, both civilians and troopers, and it's going to continue that way. But I do believe that the interim Iraqi government and the United States military and the coalition will prevail over the insurgents.

DOBBS: We should, it seems to me, as the dominant world military power, prevail in any contest, particularly against a third-world insurgency. But the fact is, we've now lost, as you well know, more than 1,000 Americans in Iraq. We have had more than 7,000 of our troops injured. This is a steep price to pay in Iraq, particularly against an assessment by the national intelligence agencies suggesting it could get even bleaker. Can we -- and I'm asking you this as a general, a man who's commanded Americans in combat. Should we not be trying to figure out a new strategy and doing -- and announcing it publicly going forward?

GRANGE: I believe that new strategy or a change in the strategy is being planned right now, as we speak. And it should be announced to the American people because the American people deserve that from the current president or a president to be. It's part of their leadership responsibilities. And the thing is that the situation has changed somewhat. And it is tougher. And it's almost a surge, like, maybe a Tet-type offensive that we had in Vietnam, where the U.S. soundly beat the enemy and -- but the strategy has to change. You cannot go on with areas controlled by insurgents and try to conduct elections. It won't happen.

DOBBS: General, I want to turn to a number of other issues, one of them directly related. The head of the Reserves, the general who commands the U.S. Army Reserves, says the force is not properly prepared to fight the war on terror. One, how can that be? And two, what should be done?

GRANGE: A couple reasons. One, it's an immense task. In other words, Iraq, Afghanistan, the global war on terror is tied into homeland security and homeland defense. You cannot separate them. They're all combined, the effort's combined. And the National Guard, as an example, is involved overseas in combat operations, like the active duty, as well as homeland defense missions. And it's a tall task. And it's -- the surge has increased so dramatically over the last few years that we're playing a bit of catch-up to get to where we need to be to handle all the tasks simultaneously.

DOBBS: I want to read to you one line on another matter reported by "The Rocky Mountain News," soldiers from Fort Carson saying that they have been issued an ultimatum to reenlist for three more years or be transferred to other units that will be deployed to Iraq, soldiers from the 3rd Brigade combat team presented with that ultimatum and a reenlistment form in a series of assemblies last Thursday. What is your reaction?

GRANGE: My reaction would be, Wow. I'm surprised to hear that. Usually, there's choices given, usually not an ultimatum unless you're a unit that's supposed to deployed somewhere and you're already in that unit. So you know, I'm not sure where that came from, what type of leadership, but it does surprise me.

DOBBS: Would you say to the point that it would be entirely inappropriate?

GRANGE: Most likely, it's inappropriate.

DOBBS: General David Grange, as always, thank you for being here.

GRANGE: My pleasure.

DOBBS: Still ahead here, recovering from Hurricane Ivan. The deadly hurricane rips across the southeastern part of this country, causing havoc, billions of dollars in damage and loss of life. We'll have a full report for you. And President Bush and Senator Kerry -- they are hurling accusations on the campaign trail, the pace of attacks stepping up. Three leading political analysts join me next to share their views on which candidate is waging the more effective campaign.

And selling America's future for a bargain, a critical American industry being exported to China. Companies may be saving money, but the costs to our country and its future are immeasurable.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Tonight, millions of people along the gulf coast are struggling with the devastation left by Hurricane Ivan. This storm ripped down trees and power lines, knocking out power, in fact, to more than a million people in four states. And seven people are dead. Tonight, the storm continues to batter the southeast, 60 mile-an-hour winds now, and dropping as much as 15 inches of rain in parts. Sean Callebs reports from Birmingham, Alabama.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From Gulfport, Mississippi, to Mobile, Alabama, to Panama City, Florida, Hurricane Ivan carved a trail of destruction. Ivan made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, with 130-mile-per-hour winds and catastrophic flooding. As much as six feet of water covers the barrier island.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything's underwater. Beach is gone.

CALLEBS: In Mobile, residents recover from a harrowing night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, one of the scary things about sitting one of these things out is listening to the pine trees snapping all night. Sounds like somebody snapping their fingers, then you hear the big crash.

CALLEBS: In Pensacola, Florida, a quarter of the mile of the Itan (ph) eastbound bridge collapsed, and the front of this truck plunged into Escambia Bay. Four Pensacola hospitals are reporting damage. The death toll was the highest in Panama City. Multiple tornadoes ripped through the vacation devastation.

CHIEF JOHN DALY, PANAMA CITY FIRE DEPT.: I have been doing this a little over 20 years, and this was, you know, for a short time span, and a lot of fire to fight and in a hurry.

CALLEBS: A twister ripped through Blountstown (ph) near Tallahassee, destroying several homes. More than a million people are without power tonight on the gulf coast.

GOV. BOB RILEY (R), ALABAMA: There a tremendous amount of flooding. We've got 250,000 people without electricity. The utilities here say that number is probably going to climb to over a half a million.

DOBBS: Florida governor Jeb Bush cautioned even though Ivan is moving inland, residents still need to be careful.

GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: And there will be utility lines that are fallen. There will be flooding. There's many dangers that might not be seen that people need to take very seriously.

CALLEBS: New Orleans missed the brunt of the storm. The mayor was relieved residents followed evacuation orders.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN (D), NEW ORLEANS: This storm passed within 70 miles of the mouth of the Mississippi. And if it would have turned the least bit toward us, we would be standing here with a totally different story.

CALLEBS: President Bush declared Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama disaster areas. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CALLEBS: Still, a weakened Ivan continues to punish central Alabama. It is going to be remembered here for rain, and lots of it. You can see the flooding from Five Mile Creek closing in on homes in this section of the city. There are also a couple of hundred trees down, some 200,000 people here without electricity. But Lou, emergency officials here say it's hard for people in this region to complain after looking at the devastation along the gulf coast.

DOBBS: Sean, thank you very much. Sean Callebs reporting live from Birmingham, Alabama.

The devastation of this storm is far from ended. Jacqui Jeras is tracking the storm now from the CNN Weather Center and joins us now with the latest -- Jacqui.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Lou, the biggest problem has been the threat of tornadoes, as of late, and flooding, especially across northern parts of Georgia, while the center of rotation is still into the Birmingham area. It's a tropical storm now, with winds of 60 miles per hour. And it has taken that north to northeast turn that we expected, moving at around 14 miles per hour.

We want to show you the radar picture now and zoom in here and show you where our biggest area of concern is. It's this line that has just moved to the east of the perimeter in the Atlanta metro area. We have had numerous warnings on and off of tornadoes in this area, but right now, it appears that the threat is over with, for the time being, in Atlanta, although Hartsfield-Jackson Airport still remains at a ground stop, at least until the bottom of the hour.

There are tornado watches in effect all across eastern Alabama, throughout Georgia, extending into the Carolinas at this hour, and we'll likely see those shifted northward as we head through tonight. The flooding concerns are quite tremendously, especially as we head up into the Appalachians in the later forecast period. Right now, there are flood warnings in effect across much of northern Alabama, extending into northern parts of Georgia.

And as we take a look out into the Atlantic -- just skipped a graphic there, Lou, but I did want to mention we've got Tropical Storm Jeanne, which could be taking aim at the United States, across Florida or maybe into the Carolinas by early next week. And right on the edge of your map right there, we have a brand-new tropical depression. That is TD # 12. But at this time, the extended forecast has that just as a fishing (ph) storm. So let's hope it stays out into the ocean -- Lou.

DOBBS: Indeed. Jacqui Jeras, thank you very much, coming to you from the CNN Weather Center.

Still ahead here tonight: aggressive fighting words on the campaign trail from both candidates. Senator Kerry attacks President Bush on what he calls the mess in Iraq. I'll be talking with three of this country's top political journalists. And then, "Exporting America." We'll report to you tonight a bold new way to track the companies killing American jobs and shipping them to cheap foreign labor markets. The secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, is my guest. We'll have all of that and a great deal more, including your e-mails and thoughts, still ahead here tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT continues with more news, debate and opinion. Here now Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Senator Kerry today blasted President Bush on the issue of Iraq and said that Mr. Bush is, quote, "living in a fantasy world of spin." Senator Kerry's attack came in a speech to veterans just a day after high-level Democratic insiders said the Kerry campaign is in trouble.

Joining me now for the latest on the presidential campaign, three of the country's top political journalists: E.J. Dionne, columnist for "The Washington Post," Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for "Time" magazine, Roger Simon, political editor, "U.S. News & World Report."

Let's start with the fact that, apparently, at least on the results of two polls, that 11 percent -- 11-point bounce that we saw for the president has evaporated. If we could show everyone the Pew Research poll and the Harris poll today -- if we could ask for that? Here's the Pew poll. There you see the race tightening amongst likely and registered voters to, effectively, a dead heat. The other poll, the Harris poll, showing basically the same thing thing, all -- both polls showing a dead heat.

Let me start with you, Roger Simon. The campaign is in chaos. August is a lost month, according to a number of pundits. Then why are they tied up?

ROGER SIMON, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": Well, bounces always come back to earth. That's why they're called bounces. And I don't think anyone expected George Bush to maintain an 11-point lead between now and election day.

You know, it's hard to tell where this campaign is. For one thing, they can't poll in Florida because of all the terrible weather and the problems down there. The sense is, among people I talk to, that this is still a very close race. It may be a close race up to the debates and after. And I sense that Bush may be up narrowly, and in -- and that the so-called battleground states probably reflect the rest of the nation right now.

DOBBS: E.J., Tony Coelho, a long-time Democratic insider, says the Kerry campaign is simply in chaos. What are your thoughts?

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think the worst thing to do in politics is to move from complacency to panic. It's too far over the other way. And I think you saw some of that going on among Democrats, I think, overreacting to certain polls, some of which -- there's no question that President Bush got a bounce out of his convention. It probably wasn't nearly as big as some of the other polls suggested.

But I think the proof is in the pudding. The Kerry campaign itself understood that it needed to do things. They've made a lot of changes in the last two weeks, and if you look at John Kerry today and over the last several days, he is really taking it to the president. I think the best line in this election so far came from Charlie Cook, the independent political analyst, who said, If this election is about Kerry, Bush wins. If this election is about Bush, Kerry wins. And Kerry's trying to make it about Bush right now.

KAREN TUMULTY, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Could I just add, too, that one of the signs of the new aggressiveness on the part of the Kerry campaign is the aggressiveness with which they took over Tony Coelho for saying that. Joe Lockhart, who's now running the message over there, called up Salon.com and said, Well, we will -- referring to the fact that Tony Coelho ran Al Gore's campaign, saying, We'll be interested in hearing from him after he wins one.

(LAUGHTER)

DOBBS: Well, that's -- it sounds like one of those responses that they should reserve for the other side. In point of fact, there seems to be an image problem. Everything is -- suggests -- for the -- for Senator Kerry -- Dick Morris, for example, saying that one of the basic problems for Senator Kerry is his own supporters, those who intend to vote for him, don't really like him. Is that just blather, or is it a reasonable comment?

SIMON: It may be a little bit over the top, but there is, I think, some fundamental truth to the fact that John Kerry has failed to make much of an emotional connection with many of his base voters. His base knows that they do not like George Bush, but they haven't made -- they haven't taken the next step, which is to say, We really like John Kerry. And he's got to get them to do that. He has to connect with them either on likability or leadership or convince them that he would be a better commander-in-chief. But he's got to use these last 45 days or so to do that.

DIONNE: I agree with what Roger said, although I think we have to acknowledge how much the discussion on TV shows like this and even among rank-and-file activists are shaped by what the polls are saying. And I think the last week or so, all of the discussion has been a response to these polls. What I'm very curious about is if you have this raft of polls saying Kerry has now caught up, the race is tied, is that going to change the nature of the discussion, and a bunch of people who were nincompoops two weeks ago suddenly look like geniuses?

DOBBS: Well, there is some volatility on a campaign like this, as you all well know. But the fact is that President Bush seems to be moving -- moving ahead, despite a National Intelligence Estimate revealed today showing that the options are not good and the likely scenarios not pleasant for Iraq or the United States in the future, an economy that, at best, is stronger than one might have perhaps expected in the early stages of recovery, but we're three years into that recovery. Why is this, just as we've been talking about Senator Kerry -- why is this not more about the policies and the results of those policies on the part of the Bush administration? Karen?

TUMULTY: Well, there are a couple of decisions, I think, that the Kerry campaign has made in taking on those very issues that you're beginning to see right now. The first is that until they deal with Iraq, until they get their message straight on Iraq, until they draw these distinctions on Iraq, the American voter is not going to want to listen to them on anything else. So what you're going to see -- there's a lot of talk right now within the campaign of a big speech coming up, where they can draw those distinctions.

The second thing they want to do in dealing with this likability question is to remind voters of what it is they don't like about George Bush. And they say that in their own focus groups, that what they are finding is that voters don't like it when George Bush says something that does not seem in tune with reality. When he gets up and says, a problem is fixed, when it does not appear to be fixed. And that's why you heard exactly this sort of discrepancy being pointed out by Kerry today.

DOBBS: Let me ask you this. Infrastructure, immigration, trade deficit, a huge budget deficit, a $4 trillion trade debt, $7.5 trillion national debt. Neither of these candidates is exactly embracing three or four of the basic issues that affect the welfare of middle-class working men and women in this country. Why not and should the national media be doing a better job of holding both candidates accountable? E.J.?

DIONNE: Well, of course. I mean, I think that's true. But I think, what you saw this week, for example, in Kerry's economic speech in Detroit, it was really the first hard effort he's made in a while to join those issues.

He talked about outsourcing and his plan, however modest, to do something about it. He talked about the deficits. He talked about jobs. He talked about creating entrepreneurs. I think one of Kerry's problems is that neither his convention nor the month of August focused very much on these core Democratic issues, and every Democrat knows that if they're going to win this election, they will win it in significant part because voters are upset about precisely that list of issues you just listed.

SIMON: Yeah...

DOBBS: Yes, go ahead.

SIMON: I agree. John Kerry would love to have the national conversation on the subjects he just named. It is very hard to do that, however, when you're defending yourself against the attacks by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and when you are defending yourself against attacks of being a flip-flopper and being incoherent on the subject of Iraq, et cetera, et cetera.

John Kerry has failed so far to take command of the conversation of this campaign. He's just starting to do it. He's had some pretty fierce attacks on George Bush, including a very tough talk today. And you know, you can't get much tougher than his speech today without the Secret Service wrestling you to the ground. So we might see a change in this.

DOBBS: Karen, let's talk about the Dan Rather lack of evidence, perhaps forged documents, the report on the president's National Guard service, much like the Texans for Truth, the Swift Boat Veterans, a distraction or fundamental to this campaign?

TUMULTY: Oh, I think at this point, it's a distraction. And it's more of a media story, in my opinion, at this point. With the sort of height of ridiculousness, the assertion I think by Dan Rather that the documents may not have been authentic but they were true.

DOBBS: Well, with that -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

DIONNE: I was going to say, Dan Rather is getting so much coverage that we have forgotten what the underlying story is. It's as if Dan Rather is the third candidate for president of the United States.

DOBBS: Right. Well, I'm glad that you have dismissed this story and allowed us to continue to focus on the real issues. E.J., thank you very much. Roger and Karen, appreciate you being here.

A reminder now to vote in our poll tonight. The question -- Do you believe Kofi Annan's comments on the war in Iraq are politically motivated? Yes or no? Cast your vote at loudobbs.com, and we'll bring you the latest -- the results here later in the broadcast.

Taking a look now at some of your thoughts about exporting America. Many of you have written in about my so-called debate last night with professor Bhagwati, who says outsourcing is not a problem, in fact he encourages it.

Linda in Fargo, North Dakota. "Lou, professor Bhagwati, like our officials in Washington, has no clue about how devastating outsourcing is to the American worker. I'm one of the 15 million Americans now who is out of work. What jobs have been coming back to replace those shipped overseas? Nothing but low-level, low-skill, part-time, no- benefits, sub-poverty jobs that one cannot be self-sufficient on, much less support a family."

F. Scarborough-Jones in San Francisco asks: "What higher paying jobs should a high-tech programmer, an information resource expert, customer service manager retrain for?"

And Michael Grimes in Mesa, Arizona: "If outsourcing is creating jobs for America, please let me know where to find out. The 47 percent pay cut I took after seven months of unemployment doesn't help me."

And Thomas Patton in Ripon, California: "Lou, my wife and I waited with great anticipation for your debate with professor Bhagwati, only to discover you had shown up for a battle of wits with someone woefully disarmed."

I like the sentiment. And I thank you. We love hearing from you always. Send us your thoughts at loudobbs@cnn.com. Please send us your name and address, and each of you whose e-mail is read on this broadcast receives a free copy of my new book, focusing on the assault on the middle class in this country, "Exporting America."

Coming up next, selling secrets and our country's future, to China in this case. Critical American technology is being exported overseas to save corporate money. But the real cost is to the nation.

Also tonight, tracking the exporting of American jobs. The nation's most influential labor union unveils its own list of companies that are exporting America. Richard Trumka, of the AFL-CIO, joins us. And the Border Patrol's impossible mission. With precious resources already stretched far too thin, an incredible new demand has been placed on the men and women of our Border Patrol. That special report coming up next. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Another leading industry in the United States is now threatened by foreign competition. Semiconductor companies are rushing to build plants in China. And American policymakers have shown little or no interest and certainly no concern. Bill Tucker reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By the end of this year, 12 percent of all semiconductor chips made will be made in China, according to a recent study by the Rand Corporation. China aided and abetted in its manufacturing growth by chip makers eager to enter the Chinese market, where they can make their chips, sell them to electronic makers who can put them in products to sell outside of China.

ALAN TOMELSON, U.S. BUSINESS & INDUSTRIAL COUNCIL: It's clear that what multinationals want is a world in which they can increasingly pay Chinese wages and costs for the production of their products, but charge American prices at the retail level. And that's a wonderful world for them, obviously.

TUCKER: It all seems less obvious to American policymakers, who seem either unconcerned or unfocused. This year, the Department of Defense apparently modified its rules for the export of semiconductor tools, which would allow for the export of even more advanced technology. Even industry officials say they're never quite sure what the standards are.

Despite repeated calls and e-mails from CNN requesting clarification of the technology export regulations, no one in either the Commerce Department or the Department of Defense responded. Embarrassment, bureaucratic confusion, whatever it is, the bottom line seems pretty clear for the American worker.

MICHAEL PECHT, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: I think that the ordinary American needs to be concerned, because what we've done is, first of all, we lose manufacturing. Then we lose the design. And with the manufacturing and the design, this is where the creativity aspects come into play. And we lose the opportunity to be creative, because we've lost the manufacturing and the design.

TUCKER: Ironically, this is not a labor cost issue. The largest issue centered around China's willingness to offer extremely attractive tax incentives. Unless we do something, we lose an industry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER: And the bottom line on that is very simple -- that means more jobs exported out of America -- Lou.

DOBBS: Why will there -- why can't the government provide no direction or explanation on our policy?

TUCKER: Good question. They don't.

DOBBS: They don't? And the industry reaction?

TUCKER: The industry feels the same way. I talked to people within the industry at SIA and within Semi, the Semiconductor Group, they would love to have clarification and they say they simply don't get it when they ask for it.

DOBBS: The trade policy in this country is so clearly and unequivocally a disaster that at some point, one hopes, that Congress will awaken to it, if not the administration.

Bill Tucker, thank you very much.

Tonight AFL-CIO is launching a new online job tracker to expose corporations, sending American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets. On their Web site, you can not only search for companies in your area that are Exporting America, you can also find out how much their CEOs earned this year.

Joining me now from Washington is the secretary treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka. I feel like I've just been outsourced. You've taken over the duties on identifying companies outsourcing jobs to cheap labor markets and going one better examining the pay of CEOs. Congratulations!

RICHARD TRUMKA, AFL-CIO, SECRETARY TREASURER: Thank you very much.

DOBBS: We know what it takes to build the list that we did. And now you are to be commended for having done that. Tell us about it.

TRUMKA: Well, you know, Lou, American working families know that their jobs are being sent overseas. They're being outsourced and offshored. They just haven't been able to find a place where they can look at the depth and the breadth of the outsourcing crisis. We put debt together on job tracker and any American can go into it at workingamerica.org. They can punch in either their zip code or they can punch in their company name, or they can punch in their industry, and they can see what their company has done. So far, we have over 200,000 companies and subsidiary that have actually either outsourced jobs or have lost jobs, laid off people because of the failed trade policies that you just mentioned.

DOBBS: Richard, say that again, the numbers again?

TRUMKA: There are over 200,000 parents and subs that have either outsourced jobs directly or laid off people because of our failed trade policies. That's the breadth of the crisis that we face right now.

DOBBS: Now, to give our audience a sense of how important it is what you and the AFL-CIO have done here. Until we on this staff of this broadcast, until our staff here started building this list of companies who are outsourcing jobs, first there was a denial that it was happening at all, and we built the first list.

TRUMKA: You sure did.

DOBBS: And now you have built a very -- you have built a heck of a lot better product. And you're to be commended. It's workingamerica.org for anybody who wants to turn to it.

Now lets turn to, if we may, the issue of middle-class in this country, working men and women and their families. The fact of the matter is, our trade police seems, whether they are Democrat or Republican, to be pursued without regard to the impact on our working people in this country.

What is your union going to do about it, and I know you're supporting Senator John Kerry, but I don't hear fire being breath and loud bells being sounded from the Kerry campaign.

TRUMKA: Well, if you wouldn't mind, Lou, let me talk about the breadth of the problem, because I agree with you. We've had problems with President Clinton on this issue. NAFTA's been a very failed policy. George bush's tried to take that policy, and replicate it. The failed policy of NAFTA and replicate it all through Central and South America, and he's even adopted policies that encourage people to take jobs offshore. Now you than we've lost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs, but we've also lost 850,000 professional and communication jobs. We're scheduled to lose 3.4 million white-collar jobs by the year 2015, and we're losing right now about 588,000 service jobs each and every year. That's the breadth of the problem. And what we see is policies that actually exacerbate that. John Kerry's agreed to do several things, Lou. First he's agreed to review every one of the policy, the trade treaties that we've entered into. The first 120 days of his administration and put working people as part of that review.

DOBBS: Richard I am sorry, we're getting really tight on time.

Give us the concrete things that the Kerry campaign's going to do. TRUMKA: Change the tax laws to take away the rewards that George Bush's given them for moving overseas. They're going to stop some of the outsourcing and government polices that encourage the outsourcing. And they will in fact help us in that way, help us create additional jobs this time around. Enforcing the laws is the main thing he's going to do. This administration has refused adamantly and consistently to enforce our trade laws and treaties. John Kerry will enforce those laws.

DOBBS: It's a fair statement in the interest of equity here, Richard, that previous administration was just of abysmal failure in that regard, is that true?

TRUMKA: Yes. Well, they weren't as bad about enforcing the laws. They did agree with NAFTA.

DOBBS: I thought we going to hear a slight adjust there.

Richard Trumka, thanks for being with us here. We appreciate it.

TRUMKA: Thank you, Lou. Thanks for having me.

DOBBS: Again, congratulations. Congratulations on workingamerica.org.

Coming up next, the tremendous strain on this border patrol already faced with a nearly impossible task of stopping illegal aliens from crossing our border. Their job tonight, even more difficult, if you can imagine. Our special report "Broken Borders" next. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: As we've reported extensively here, the border patrol is desperately short of resources and manpower in its fight to stop millions of illegal aliens from crossing our borders every year. In fact, this week "Time" magazine in a special investigative report, its cover story, says three million illegal aliens will enter our country this year. Now, precious resources are being stretched even further. And the border patrol is under tremendous pressure.

Casey Wian report tonight from Three Points, Arizona.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Border patrol agents Abel Melengez and Vince Hampel (ph), track illegal aliens in the Arizona desert on foot and in the Humvee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The group already on the road right here, that's pretty (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

WIAN: While their colleagues John Kimmel and Brad Rubinof (ph) search from the air, flying low enough to part the brush, the only covering shade for miles, they spot a group hiding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going to have to come in and dig them out of the brush.

WIAN: They land and Rubinof gives chase corralling nearly two dozen illegal aliens. A handful of others run.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is.

WIAN: They are quickly caught.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's all four of them, five of them, look at that.

WIAN: Back on the ground, the aliens say they're Mexican, but one later admits the group of young men are from Guatemala. A longer trip back for those who will cross again.

(on camera): Even though this group of illegal aliens has been caught by the border patrol in many ways they're fortunate. They say they have been walking for five days across the desert with temperatures sometimes topping 100 degrees. It's a journey that has proved fatal to many others.

(voice-over): These agents belong to the Border Patrol's search Trauma and Rescue Team or BORSTAR. It's their job to catch illegal aliens and rescue those often on the verge of death.

JOHN KIMMEL, BORDER PATROL PILOT: A lot of the deceased ones we that we encounter are guys this age. They just have no clue what they're getting into.

WIAN: They find this man from El Salvador alone and dehydrated. His blood pressure, pulse and respiration are elevated. He hasn't had water in more than a day and no food for three. It can be 55 miles from the border to a main road. Smugglers tell aliens it's much shorter, leaving them unprepared. And they're given stimulants so they'll walk faster.

ABEL MELANDEZ, BORSTAR AGENT: Once you have already taken those pills that the smugglers are giving them, I mean, nothing is going to help you because, like I said, you've got to have at least at minimum a gallon of water a day.

WIAN: At this hilltop resting place, you can see how dehydrated aliens will drink almost anything.

MELANDEZ: This is the kind of stuff they drink when they run out of water and they get these cattle tanks that have dead cows in them, all kinds of little bacteria and stuff.

WIAN: Another dehydrated man traveling with a group is nearly unconscious.

MELANDEZ: He's thrown up six types.

WIAN: Agents suspect he's crossed before because his fingertips appear to have been sliced with a razor blade an effort to mask fingerprints. His expensive watch and ring plus the fact he was not abandoned by his group suggests he could be a smuggler but investigators may never know. He is rushed to a local hospital which will be stuck with the bill for his care. At least 120 illegal aliens have died crossing the Arizona desert in the past year. More than 1,000 others have been rescued.

The border patrol has more than doubled the number of Borstar agents working the west Arizona desert this summer to 90. Nationwide, tens of millions of dollars in salary alone is spent rescuing illegal aliens. Yet another cost of the nation's failure to control its borders. Casey Wian, CNN, near Three Points, Arizona.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOBBS: Coming up next here, the personal experience with the exporting of high-skill, high-paying American jobs to cheap foreign labor markets. The story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Tonight in another excerpt from the documentary "American Jobs," one high-tech worker sharing her painful experience with outsourcing. Her story like so many others directly contradicts the academic and corporate America orthodoxy that would have you believe exporting America is good for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All through the nineties economists assured Americans that the departure of manufacturing would allow us to move up the value chain to higher skilled jobs, like computer programming. But the global sourcing of manufacturing has created a template for exactly the same process to occur in high-skilled white-collar jobs.

MARCUS COURTNEY, WASHTECH LABOR ORGANIZER: The global economy's making no distinction between whether you are a textile worker making Fruit of the Loom underwear or whether you are a computer programmer making an Oracle or Microsoft product. It doesn't matter to the global economy. What matters is who can do it cheaper and that's exactly what's happening.

MYRA BRONSTEIN, SOFTWARE TESTER: My name's Myra Bronstein and I've been in the IT industry for about 14 years. And most recently I was a senior quality assurance engineer at WatchMark Corporation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An attractive offer from WatchMark convinced Myra to relocate from New Jersey to Seattle back in April of 2000. Her interview took place in her hilltop apartment on beautiful Mercer Island near Seattle.

BRONSTEIN: They paid me $75,600 base salary. Plus annual bonus, plus stock options.

COURTNEY: It was a short period of time where employers in terms of salaries were rising rapidly within the industry, and you had those stories of where it was more of an employee market than an employer market. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On March 21, 2003, the entire software testing department at WatchMark was told they were being outsourced to India effective immediately.

BRONSTEIN: Basically the head of human resources said, well, the reason you're here today is because there are cutbacks and you are affected by these cutbacks. And the entire Q.A. team is being outsourced to India. We have given you letters in your packets that show a termination date in the future because you are expected to train your replacements and they will be flying in over the weekend and they'll be here Monday. That was a bad, bad Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was it like on Monday?

BRONSTEIN: Well, Monday was worse! Friday was as bad as it can get and then Monday was worse. There's a long table and there's the Indian workers at one end. And there's the castaways, the WatchMark castaways at the other end and it's like the sock hop from hell.

I have heard that they get paid around $5,000 a year. So when you do the math with the amount of money they paid me at WatchMark, they could hire I don't know, like 16 engineers or something. So that's 16 heads for the price of one. And that's exactly the point of course is, I can't compete with that. American workers can't compete with that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOBBS: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Results now of our poll. Twenty-four percent of you say Kofi Annan's comments on the war were politically motivated. Seventy- six percent say they were not.

That's the broadcast for tonight. We thank you for being with us. Please join us here tomorrow. For all of us here good night from New York.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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